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Panthers dominate Argylls for first win

BY ERIC HINDERLITER - ctreporter@indy.rr.com

There may have been a little pent-up frustration on the Eastbrook sideline with a tough start to the 2019 football season.

After enduring loss to Class 4A Marion and Delta the last two weeks, the Panthers righted the ship against Madison-Grant, another two-loss team, with a thoroughly dominating performance, defeating the Argylls, 58-0.

Eastbrook scored on seven of its eight first half possessions on the way to a commanding 51-0 halftime lead before the running clock took effect in the second half.  The Panthers were aided by excellent field position and ran 42 of their 45 first half plays in Argylls' territory.

“I’m really happy with our effort and intensity tonight,” said Eastbrook coach Jeff Adamson.  “It feels like things are back going in the right direction again.”

The Panthers' offensive attack was keyed by a punishing running game.  They imposed their will upon a Madison-Grant defense that never had an answer in the first half.  The Panthers amassed 330 yards on the ground in their first half onslaught.

“They figured it out and we didn’t,” said Argyll coach Brady Turner.  “They are a very good team.  They were ready and obviously we were not.”

Wyatt Stephenson led the way with three scores in the first half while running for 82 yards on 15 carries.  Isaiah Dalton rushed for 114 yards and a pair of scores while Zeke Binkerd picked up 61 yards and also found the endzone.

“I think when we are going well, we are getting it from all four backs,” commented Adamson.  “And obviously the offensive line helped make that happen.”

The Panthers’ other touchdown in the first half barrage came from backup quarterback Alden Miller, who broke loose on a 22-yard scoring run.  Eastbrook did not have much need to throw the ball but Dylan Bragg did connect nicely with Alex Baker on a 21-yard completion in which Baker dragged M-G defenders for 10 of those yards.

While Eastbrook dominated offensively, they were able to keep the Argylls' offense at bay most of the time in the first half. The Argylls worked hard for their 73 first half yards and three first downs.  Damon Hasty stretched completely to catch a 23-yard pass from Jackson Thompson on M-G's biggest gaining play in the first half.

“We had some offensive linemen out of position tonight,” Turner said.  “But we just have to get better. They can’t take plays off.”

With a running clock throughout the second half, Eastbrook tacked on another score when Logan Collins scampered 26 yards for a touchdown.

The Argylls were able to get a little offensive production in the second half with two extended drives.  Thompson’s 30-yard run was the key play in a 50-yard drive that ended on downs on the Eastbrook 30. 

 A 26-yard run by Clayton Powell was the centerpiece in the Argylls’ other drive of the second half, one that covered 74 yards but again stalled out deep in Panther territory.

The Argylls have faced three strong teams to start the season and will look to crack the win column when they travel to Alexandria on Friday.

“We knew the first three weeks would be brutal,” explained Turner.  “But if we keep working to get better, we’ll be alright.  These seniors won’t let anyone on this team quit.”

Adamson held a similar sentiment about his club.

“We need to keep improving and focus on getting better for the next week,” said Adamson. 

Eastbrook looks ahead next week to a big matchup at home with Class 4A No. 5 Mississinewa.